What do a sudden thaw, a quick blow dry, and a fast freeze mean to Southern Ontario hikers? Well right not it means that cold weather hiking just became a reality again.
The last thaw pretty much destroyed x-country ski and snowshoe trails but there is an upside. The recent cold snap means that most of those muddy trails have frozen rock solid and approached with a bit of caution will provide all of the enjoyment of a brisk summer hike.
Rail trails may tend to be the best option right now because they are relatively flat and should be mostly dry and ice free. Bush trails and particularly trails that follow a high ridgeline – like many parts of the Bruce Trail – should be treated with caution because there will still be many icy sections and slippery rocks to navigate.
Even though we are back into the deep freeze be very carful when walking near or across ice; particularly river or stream ice. Currents weaken ice and what may appear thick enough to walk on may be irregular and very thin in places.
Regardless of where you go now is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy a late winter hike. It won’t be long before even the rail trails turn into a muddy sloppy mess, so why not get a jump on your spring hike before you need to done hip waders.
If you’re looking for a late winter distraction check out the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show for all the latest hiking gear and some great hiking destinations. The show runs daily from March 18 to 22...during March break.
Don’t forget to check out the new hiking destinations database at Southern Ontario Outdoors. Just click on the region of the map you are interested in and you will be taken to a page where you can select information about trails in that area.
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